Niall had been holding Emma for half an hour now. He held her under the arms and she was standing on his thighs. He and Zayn were sitting on the sofa backstage. ‘You’re the cutest little potato, aren’t you?’ Niall told Emma, taking her little hands and putting them on his face. Emma smiled, squeezing his cheeks.
‘He knows she’s not eatable, right?’ I asked Harry, half joking, half worried. He was sitting on a chair and I was sitting on his lap. I loved sitting on his lap. His arms were wrapped around my waist.
‘I think he does,’ he replied with his chin resting on my shoulder.
‘Can I hold her now?’ Zayn asked for the third time.
‘No,’ Niall replied, gently pressing his forehead on Emma’s.
‘Niall, come on,’ Zayn said. ‘I want to hold her.’
‘Five more minutes,’ Niall said, clapping Emma’s hands.
‘Wait for your turn, Malik,’ Louis shouted from the dressing room. ‘It’s my turn to hold her next.’
‘Should I tell them that it’ll be her nap time soon,’ I asked Harry.
‘How soon?’ Harry asked, kissing my shoulder.
‘In about fifteen minutes,’ I replied.
‘Perfect,’ he said. ‘There’s a bed in one of the dressing rooms. We could go have some fun while the boys keep Emma preoccupied.’
‘But what if she asks for us?’ I asked. I was a little overprotective of her. Only a little.
Niall handed Emma to Zayn. Zayn held her against his chest, bowed his head over her and sang a lullaby to her while stroking his thumb on her cheek. My daughter is one lucky baby, I thought.
‘Bess, we don’t spend any time just the two of us anymore,’ Harry said in my ear, complaining. That was true. He went on, ‘You don’t give me much attention anymore.’
‘Are you honestly jealous of Emma right now?’ I asked, smiling, because I didn’t know if I should be angry with him.
Harry withdrew his arms from around me and said, ‘Get up, please.’
‘Baby,’ I squealed in complain. What can I say? I just loved sitting on his lap.
‘Bess, get up,’ Harry repeated firmly. I frowned and got up. He headed to the door.
‘Where are you going?’ I asked.
‘To take a cold shower,’ he shouted over his shoulder, walking out the door. He bumped into Liam, who was coming inside. ‘Sorry, mate,’ Harry mumbled and left.
‘What’s up with him?’ Liam asked me and I shrugged. Liam didn’t need to know there was trouble in my marriage with Harry. Trouble in paradise.
Louis came out of the dressing room and when he saw that Zayn was holding Emma, he complained, ‘Oh, come on!’
When Emma was taking her nap, I went looking for Harry. I found him in the dressing room with the bed. He was lying on his back on it, looking at the ceiling. His hands were joined behind his head and his legs were crossed one over the other. I sighed, climbed on the bed and lied next to him. I put my arm on his stomach and looked at him. ‘Let’s go on a romantic dinner, tonight,’ I told him.
‘What about Emma?’ he asked, still looking up.
‘Louis and Eleanor will babysit.’
Harry turned to me now. His green eyes were always glistening. He didn’t say anything but put his hand on my cheek and kissed me. When we both lied on our side and grabbed at each other, pressing our bodies together, I understood what Harry was talking about before. I had missed this too. This passion we had for each other. His tongue met mine when he put his hand under my top. But Liam walked in the room.
‘Emma’s crying,’ Liam said.
Of course she is, I thought. Harry pulled away and got out of the bed, sighing. ‘I’ll go to her,’ he said and I watched him walking out of the room. God, I loved his back. I sat up, looking at my legs. Liam hesitated before he sat down at the end of the bed, keeping a safe distance between us.
‘Is everything alright between you and Harry?’ he asked and I really didn’t want to answer.
‘Everything’s peachy,’ I replied, ironically.
‘Fine. You don’t want to talk about it,’ he said, getting up.
‘No, wait!’ I begged without meaning to. When Liam sat back down, I told him everything that had happened that morning.